Hippie Lawyer & Community Activist Alan Graf on Police Accountability

Categories:
program date: 
Wed, 06/02/2010

 Host Lisa Loving and her special guest, Alan Graf, talk about Police Accountability.

Comments

Kruger thing

This has generated a lot of heat so I decided to go back and re-listen to what Becky said..  Here it is as much as my limited transcribing abilities can decypher...  "One thing I object to on.. about the Kroger thing is that you are just kind of criticizing him for his hobbies and beliefs or whatever and not for what he's done and that we wouldn't want people to criticize us for our lifestyles."  I don't see this as defending Kroger's Nazi fetish, but more to the point of not judging someone's job performance by outside hobbies/beleifs/whatever..  I disagree with Becky's assertion here, but I do think she has an arguable point about open mindedness.  (That said, Kroger's Nazi-ism does cast a light on his other behavior, but it's really his other behavior as a police officer that is offensive.)  I really think people have blown this a bit out of proportion.. but that's just my thought..  

Misguided Diplomacy

I think it's great that Becky realizes how offensive her comment was. I'm sure it really was an attempt to be diplomatic, albeit feeble, and most certainly a display of horrible judgment. As Becky says below, she spoke for herself and not as a city or even a KBOO representative. Yes, that is what she did, she spoke for her own beliefs and opinions, and her opinion is that Nazi activities could be considered a hobby, and that it's ok for a police officer to have a hobby like that, if they want to. Unfortunately, Becky this is what you said, and as you like to try to hold others accountable for what they say in "the community" the community will now hold you accountable for a very grievous error in judgment.

It is good though, to know where you stand, and it is unfortunate to see that when it comes to KBOO's overall mission, to promote social justice, it seems to be in direct conflict with your professional career of  sometimes defending Killer Cops by spinning their murderous behavior into something helpful for the city. That alone is the most curious distinction, so compartmentalized.

I do wish there was additional energy going to the entire city council asking the question of how this individual is a police officer, much less a Captain. I have communicated this to them, it would be great if you did to, that's the real activism here.

This isn't really about KBOO, although we do have KBOO to thank for once again raising a curtain and exposing the truth beneath. In this case, Alan.

So remember who gave you this revelation, KBOO. Support it. It's not easy or always fun, but it can be a lot of fun, and good work. Crazy comes with the turf and there is unlimited potential for improvement. There is tremendous potential for improvement, almost a desparate need, so do that too. Get involved but don't invite any Nazis.

I'm not putting my name on this because I am afraid of killer Nazi policeman. I have a family lineage of dead jews killed and tatooed by Nazis. Curious hobby.

statement from Alan Graf

 

from portland Indy Media July 8th

President of KBOO is an Nazi Apologist

The President of KBOO is a Nazi Apologist and works for the city of Portland defending Police Brutality

Becky Chiao, is the current President of the KBOO board of directors.

She is a lawyer and former member of the National Lawyers Guild.

For the past number of years she has worked for Risk Management for the city of Portland defending police brutality incidents.

Recently, when I was on Lisa Loving's show as a guest attorney, I spoke about my own personal experience with Captain Mark Kruger who has a documented history of being a Nazi sympathizer and lover of Nazi culture and artifacts. We have videos, affidavits and photos to prove all of this. He has also been documented through videos and testimony as intolerant of diverse views and been shown to be very violent against people who he didn't like, particularly those on the left, time and time again. Yet, he was promoted to Captain of Downtown precinct.

On Lisa's show I spoke out on the air questioning why the city wold promote such a man who recently admitted in WWeek that he has put together a memorial park in Portland for fallen Nazi soldiers.

Becky Chiao called in to the program and defended Kruger and stated "it is just an innocent hobby of his" and I shouldn't be picking on him.
Becky said nothing at the time that she was currently KBOO's president. This is the same line that was used by the city to defend Kruger's actions when we sued the city for police brutality against protesters of the Iraq war. The city later conceded and settled the case.

I now find out that Becky is President of KBOO's board and I am simply aghast and dismayed that KBOO would allow a Nazi apologist to be its President. Rosie Sizer's schedule also shows Becky Chiao meeting with Sizer previous to a meeting Sizer was planning to have with Joann Bowman about Police brutality and profiling. It is safe to assume that Chiao was prepping the Chief for the meeting.

For years, KBOO has been the voice against police brutality in this city. Now it has an employee of the city of Portland who defends police brutality as its President. This is wrong, wrong, wrong.

Please feel free to publish my letter wherever you choose to do so.

Sincerely,

Alan Graf

Becky's call to KBOO

After listening again to Lisa's program and Becky's call in to KBOO, I could find only one discrepancy in Alan's statement, that being that Becky did not say the word 'innocent', but seriously - a HOBBY??? puleeeez!!!

A Most Interesting Show

made even more so by the call from Becky Chaio, current KBOO Foundation President defending Capt. Mark Kruger, a Nazi. Here is a post from Alan on the Portland IMC. http://publish.portland.indymedia.org/en/2010/07/400845.shtml 

 

 

To the KBOO Membership

 

I’m sorry that it’s taken a while for me to address Alan’s statement.  I just found out about it on Thursday and have been trying to form a proper response.  Words are so important and I don’t always get them right.  In addition to the wise counsel from some friends, I was able to talk to Alan on the phone this morning, which was very helpful.

I made a mistake for which I apologize.  I’m sorry that I referred to Captain Kruger’s behavior as a hobby in my comments on Lisa Loving’s talk-radio show.  The word hobby minimizes his activities and was insensitive to the magnitude of suffering brought about by Nazis, Neo-Nazis and other white supremacists.  I believe and have always believed that any ideology based on hatred is horribly wrong and deeply regret that what I said led to any doubt about that.

I was speaking as an individual and not as the president of the KBOO Board of Directors (nor as an city employee).  My comments here are also my own and do not represent anyone other than myself.

I don’t know Captain Kruger.  I am not in a position to defend him.  At the time that I called, I was feeling somewhat defensive of former Chief of Police Rosie Sizer, who had just been fired.  It is my understanding that she felt satisfied that Kruger is fit to serve in the Portland Police Bureau, as did former Mayor Vera Katz.    I admit to admiring and respecting both of these powerful women and trusting in their judgment.

Alan explained to me today why despite the fact that he had some positive things to say about Rosie and Vera, he thinks their decisions regarding Kruger were wrong.  I agree that no one who adheres to Nazi or other racist values should be in a position of power in the City of Portland or in any other just organization, group or political entity. 

I hope that satisfies one aspect of the concerns against me—I’m not a Nazi supporter and I have apologized for saying things that indicated that I am.

A second more difficult charge to respond to is that I am a defender of police brutality.  I prefaced my comments on the radio with the fact that I work for the City of Portland and may be seen as an apologist for the city or for the police.   I mentioned my job (claims analyst with Risk Management) in the interest of fair disclosure, as my interactions at work do color my perceptions.  That doesn’t mean that I think that the city doesn’t make mistakes or can’t improve. 

So far, no one at the city has questioned my volunteer work with KBOO, but people at KBOO have questioned my work with the city.  (As an aside, I think it is important for organizations like KBOO to be wary of agent provocateurs sent to undermine the work of the station.  That is one reason why I have supported the staff in their refusal to turn over the station’s membership list unless required to do so by law.)

I am proud to work for the City of Portland and take seriously the privilege it is to work on behalf of the public.  That said, I admire activists who work outside of government to ensure that bureaucrats like myself do not become complacent or corrupt.  While I know that sometimes individuals in the two groups disagree and that some would argue against any government institution, I don’t personally think that the interests of KBOO are inherently in conflict with those of the City of Portland.

Alan’s assumption that because I met with Rosie prior to her meeting with Joanne Bowman, I must have been briefing her on something related to Joanne, racial profiling, or police policy is incorrect.  I have worked with the Chief’s office occasionally concerning particular lawsuits, but I don’t have a say in police policy.  My role in city government is pretty far down the chain of command.  I heard from Walt Curtis that there was a rumor at KBOO that I was responsible for blocking the city from settling the Chasse lawsuit; no truth to that at all. 

Here is my story:  I came to Portland after working as a lawyer for the National Immigration Law Center in Los Angeles where I advocated for the rights of low-income immigrants, did training and some litigation--suing the INS, State of California and LAPD.  Once here, I became a stay-at-home mom.  My connection to the rest of the world was in a large part through KBOO, although I got out of the house some to volunteer with groups including the National Lawyers Guild (of which I’m currently a paid-up member) where I met Alan.  KBOO people like Alan and Joanne and Ani inspired (and still inspire) me to get involved, go to rallies and stay informed. 

When I was ready to go back to work, my decision to explore a job in government can be directly attributed to KBOO which raised my awareness of city issues.   I first volunteered in Erik Sten’s office.  From there I was hired as the Deputy Ombudsman, stayed three years, and then got my current job in Risk Management. 

I’m not the most radical person.  My politics are to the left of the Democratic Party and NPR, but I’m a bourgeois working mom whose kids grew up in the suburbs. Volunteering with KBOO is one way to contribute to activist causes, remain in touch with the ideals I held when I first went to law school, and demonstrate to my sons that there are ways to work against the status quo for positive social change. 

No one I’ve met at the city has ever come out in favor of police brutality.  Chief Sizer changed the policy on use of force to create a higher standard than what is permitted by law.  But there are times when police officers do use force and the city defends their actions.  I recognize my tendency as a lawyer to defer to the justice system, which isn’t without flaws.   I don’t have an answer for how to stop police violence or other crimes.  But I know it will take a lot of people working together to make our society less violent and more equal and fair.

My nature is not suited to the hardcore advocacy of one side of an argument required to be a great litigator—I try to find the middle ground between opposing points of view.  In this case, my attempt to be open-minded may have gone too far.  But I think there is room at KBOO for an approach like mine, in addition to the more robust approach of someone like Alan.  Actually, I’ve lasted longer as board president than he did. 

I don’t normally call in about issues (listening to the recording I can hear that I’m not very articulate on the radio).  But it seemed like a special occasion having Alan back on the air.  I didn’t identify myself as board president because it didn’t seem relevant. I was making a personal statement, and mentioning my title in that situation would have seemed sort of pompous and might wrongly imply that I was speaking as a board member.

If I continue through the end of my term on the board, I would like to promote a more positive culture at KBOO where people talk to each other and try to find common ground, rather than pass along allegations and innuendo.  Sometimes the muckraking is off-putting.  I hope the well-intentioned concern about my comments and leadership at KBOO can be channeled into enthusiasm for working forward into a bright future for the station.  Overall, being called out by Alan has been a positive learning experience for me.  I’d hate to have it negatively impact the station beyond what it already has.

KBOO is a treasure, a precious resource.  Whether you think I’m fit to serve on the board or not, one thing the station needs right now are members willing dedicate some time to board meetings and committee work.  Maybe since you have read this far, it can be you.  For information about the July 30th deadline to run for the board please visit http://kboo.fm/governance.

Let me know if you have additional comments or questions I should respond to.  I’d like to set up a forum to address people’s concerns in person, separate and in advance of this month’s scheduled board meeting.  In the meantime, my email address is becky@herfingertips.com.

 

Alan Graf's statement ...


Trout


Here are some posts of mine following my conversation with Becky that you can share with KBOO and Indymedia.

Alan

As to Becky, she called me up today and I spoke with her for over an hour trying to explain to her what was wrong about her publicly supporting a Nazi cop. The conversation was civil, but she never apologized or admitted wrong doing or error on her part. She is very vested in her own self image as reasonable and believes that Vera and Rosie were good leaders, thus she took their word that Kruger had committed no wrong doing. I told her that was lazy and she needed to do her own investigations. I am glad that a bunch of you are following through on this, as I explained very clearly to Becky legitimizing Nazi behaviors, obsessions, or hobbies, particularly by people in positions of authority and power--is not only a mistake but promotes a huge injustice and great insensitivity not fitting for someone in the position as KBOO's President. I suggested resignation and/or an apology. She didn't seem to be interested in either although she did say she would do what was best for KBOO. We'll see.



More on Becky--Becky has been working for the city for so long she has only one perspective. For instance, when I said, Portland's police were one of the worst in the country in terms of accountability and brutality-she disagreed and said they were one of the best and had won awards for their excellence. Also, she told me she had a lot of respect for Vera Katz and Chief Sizer--both of who I personally found to be stalwart supporters for minimum to no police accountability and transparency. Dan Handleman and others who have monitored the police and dealt with Sizer and Katz would agree with me. So, yes there is a difference of opinion and of course she is entitled to those opinions--but it would be like having a right wing talk show host as president of KBOO--maybe not that far-but in that direction. Its not a fit--she maybe a good administrator and organizer--but her soul has been co-opted by her years defending the bureau.

Alan

Follow-up

I wouldn't agree with every aspect of Alan's account of our conversation, but I'm not going to try to refute each thing I disagree with on the internet.

I found the talk with Alan to be very helpful in understanding where he is coming from and it led to my apology above.  We not only talked about police accountability but also about the challenges faced by KBOO board members. It is true that I said my primary concern is what is best for KBOO.

I signed up for a space at KBOO on Thursday night July 22 from 8-10 pm (the only time I saw available) to talk to concerned members in person about this.  I do want to approach these issues reasonably and would like to make sure that reasonableness is more than just my self-image, but an actual attribute of how I act and make decisions.

Please Resign

Becky, on Portland indy media you posted:

"There are lots of challenges facing KBOO. My personal approach toward facing these challenges is through open-minded discussion. But if it becomes clear that my statements have eroded my credibility to such an extent or pose such a distraction that I should not be in a leadership position at the station, I will step down."

I hope you mean this, and it should be more than obvious that you should step down NOW, your credibility has already been eroded and it is a distraction. I will be at the board meeting on Monday the 26th along with others that have found your words to be unexcusable. It is my humble opinion that if you really want KBOO to be healthy again, you will resign before the board meeting. It blows my mind that you seem unable to see that NOW is the time for you to act to benefit our community - please resign.

Jim, I'm not sure we've

Jim, I'm not sure we've met. I'd be happy to talk to you directly so I can try to understand where you are coming from.

It actually hasn't become obvious to me yet what I should do, that is why I'd like to meet with people Thursday night.  People I know and respect have told me they support my remaining on the board.  I want to know more about those who don't support me.

It seems like some people would see my forced resignation as a victory against racism, police brutality and sexual harassment.  People who know me know that I don't support these things.  It may feel cathartic to scapegoat someone, but I'm not sure that it will lead to a positive result for the station.  Resigning under these circumstances could feel like giving in to a type of process and discourse that I'm not in favor of.

I don't think I'm perfect or even very good in the role of chair the board, but I do take my responsibilities seriously and try to do my best.  And what I see as my weaknesses are probably not the same things as my online critics think disqualify me. One concern I have is that I'm not sure that there is someone willing to take over as president. I'm not sure that it would be responsible to quit in the middle of a firestorm without knowing there is someone good to take the reins.  

Resign Please, Becky

Becky, go ahead and have your spin meeting, but members should  attend the  board meeting (Monday, July 26, 6 PM at KBOO). Its best to keep everything in the open, and the board meeting is he most appropriate place to do that. You are incapable of leading KBOO and must resign now before you do any more harm.

The Left: Eating it’s Own

Normal
0

Great, let’s set aside the organization’s business and hold a contest to see who hates Nazis the most.  We’ll have runner up prizes for those who hate Nazi cops the most, those who hate cops the most, and those that just hate the most.

Hating injustice is still hating, and I for one am sick of the hate.

What I hear is that there were extremely unfortunate words; I have seen no argument against that.  Next thing I know, there’s this scampering to the ledge to fling oneself headlong into some Orwellian orgy of thoughtcrime.  Instantaneous production of pitchforks and indignation ensue, all but ensuring the correctness of every negative stereotype held about the Left…eating it’s own since longer than I can remember.

If we want to be the change we want to see, that will surely begin by speaking skillfully about our differences, including our unfortunate words, not by resorting to instant demonization.

Sheesh.  Take another bonghit and let’s fight the real fight.  Together.

 

Grace, I do know you and

Grace, I do know you and frankly, I don't share your perspective on many things, the meaning of the House Rules for one, so your advice is not particularly persuasive to me. 

Your characterization of my attempt to communicate with people as spin strikes me as very cynical.  I would hope that through dialogue we might be able to find some areas of understanging and that doing so is a positive way to approach disagreement.

 

Skip her special meeting, go to the board meeting!

Becky is trying to move any discussion that would have taken place on this issue from the board meeting to the special meeting she has set.  It's easier for her to spin when she is not in a board meeting and she can set the rules easier.

NO, this needs to all be done in a board meeting, so it is a part of the record.  This all has to do with her conduct as as the elected board president of KBOO, the leader and voice of KBOO.  Her special meeting is not the correct place, the board meeting is the correct place.

Becky please resign your position a as a KBOO board member before the meeting to save yourself and KBOO a big embarrassment.

 

actions, decisions

Becky can spin at an extra meeting, or at a regular board meeting---I'm sure the venue wouldn't make any difference whatsoever as to what she says.  She may very well want to have the extra meeting in order to allow the regular meeting to go on and that possibility shouldn't be ruled out, if it's the case.

I've always been a "first things first" person, and believe that this current stuff is kboo's priority right now, and so if we have to dedicate the whole board meeting to it, so be it.  It's our meeting and the board has no authority to do anything but to serve us (within kboo's mission).

IMO, I think that getting new leadership is a step in the right direction, but my concern right now is if kboo is willing to do the work it takes to deal with Becky's cabal on the board, who vote in lockstep with her, and what then will we do with kboo, just let things go and wait for another drama to errupt?! 

It's simply not enough to have bad policy, and bad relationships, and then scapegoat someone WE put out at the front of it.  I get zero pleasure from it.  We have to change kboo as an organization, and we may have to change ourselves.  If we have any extra meetings at all, it should be to re-organize, and we should be able to call such meetings when we see fit.

Sincerely,

Yvette

 

Yvette, I don't always

Yvette, I don't always understand where you are coming from, but appreciate your willingness to listen when we communicate.

There are serious problems with the way people work together at KBOO and lots of work that can be done to improve the organization.  But I don't agree that the board acts as a cabal under my leadership.

please resign before you hurt KBOO even more

Becky, please step down before the board meeting to avoid the inevitable, don't you see/feel it? I will be there to ask that you do so ASAP, as will many others, You cannot undo this damage, it is done.

PS

And to whoever is censoring my posts: you need to stop.

Becky's call

I think one very telling issue is that while Becky and the current board are obsessed with "The House Rules" (see notice of the election on this website),  Becky's understanding of our Program Charter seems to be minimal. How else could she call into a talk show, defend a Nazi glorifier--and please keep in mind that these were people who planned and partially implemented the systematic genocide of Jews, Communists, homosexuals and Gypsies? She clearly has no clue about KBOO's mission, and thus should not be board president or even a board member.  Becky needs to resign. Now.

 

Grace

Dear God, stop already!

All you crazy people, running off the board anyone who you disagree with.  Knock it off before you completely destroy what's left of KBOO.

You defamed the prior board president.  You encouraged the crazy lawsuit, then ran a slate of people to try to take over the board.  When only a few of your slate won the election, you harrassed the elected board to the point that some good people resigned, realizing that being sued, libeled, and kept at board meetings to be yelled at till the wee hours of the morning just isn't worth it anymore.  So ... by the back door you got people sympathetic to your views appointed to the board, even though your candidates lost in elections.

You drove out the door one of the most thoughtful, gentle, and serious people I met at the station, former manager Arthur Davis, using a pack of lies and made up allegations to smear his good name.  He made one mistake, but was hounded out the door because a handful of members wanted him gone.

Becky ain't perfect, but she aknowledges her shortcomings, and writes a clear explanation and apology for her poor choice of words.  What a miracle it would be if the toxic people harrassing her now could do the same.

 

It would seem obvious

that you do not attend meetings, else you would be much more clear about where things stand in regard to your comments above. As for Mr. Davis, you have your experience and perception of him, and other people have had their actual experience, just a real as yours and different with him. I'm glad you never had a bad personal experience with him. There are a number of other people who cannot say that. And when running a business, it is possible to make a mistake, or two, so greivous, they require the employee to be asked to leave.

To Obvious

I've seen enough of KBOO, served on enough committees, and talked with quite a few staff, as well as many of the people who have served on the board through this sorry mess.

I can say that I've had more toxic experiences with volunteers in the last few years at KBOO than in my entire prior adult life.

I hope that the station can survive.  Many days I have my doubts.

Vote YES on both bylaw changes ... and anyone whose rhetoric is full of accusations, paranoid statements and buzzwords ... please don't vote for them.

 

Sounds like...

Sounds like you want to perpetuate the status quo and keep us in perpetual chaos stemming from the staff and board's hierarchial, anti-member, anit-diversity attitudes!

There we have it, the buzzwords of last resort!

There are the buzzwords!  Sounds right out of Michael's mouth.

trolls again--drats!

You're mistaken (!), AND it seems like you want to perpetuate the status quo and keep us in perpetual chaos stemming from the staff and board's hierarchial, anti-member, anit-diversity attitudes!

 

thanks for sharing

Might as well move this to the thread about Mitakue ... same over-reaction BS ... different day.

DIVERSITY!  MEMBER!  ANTI EVERYTHING!  ANTI CHAOS.  PRO CHAOS!  DEMOCRACY!  HEIRARCHY!

Boy, I do feel better getting all that off my chest.

OMG

Wow!

Facts are an inconvenience to those who are confused.

I only make one set of facts from which all my children must form opinions about the complexities of existence.

with LOVE,

God

 

Copyright © 2012 KBOO Community Radio | Community Guidelines | Website Illustration & Design by: KMF ILLUSTRATION